Tag Archives: New York Times

Goodbye, Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy (with hat) Source: www.cnn.com

Tom Clancy (with hat)
Source: http://www.cnn.com

As you probably know, Tom Clancy the author who invented the techno thriller died yesterday. I always enjoyed his books – simultaneously wanting to know how the story ends and wanting the story to continue.

Clancy was supposed to speak at a Navy Supply Corps Workshop back in the 1980s. He was working on a book, and the story went 300+ pages longer than he had anticipated, so he sent a videotape instead. The book was “Clear and Present Danger.”

In the videotape, he commented how people asked his advice, so “as a best-selling author,” he advised this, and “as a best-selling author” he recommended that. I was a bit put off.

He then pointed out how he kept referring to himself as a “best-selling author.” He related how in the past he had sold insurance and people would cross the street so they wouldn’t have to talk with him. Now, everybody liked to talk with him.

“In other words,” he said, “the cure for leprosy is to write a book.”

Just one more story from a great storyteller.

Lance Armstrong

The Lance Armstrong confession has resulted in some interesting reactions, “The New York Times” had perhaps the funniest:

“…Armstrong did indeed admit he used performance-enhancing drugs. (In other news: the world is round.)”

But among the more interesting responses have been those who are now questioning the wisdom of placing athletes or other celebrities in the role of “heroes” and therefore role models.

Do we really want our kids emulating someone whose claim to fame is his ability to ride a bike or chase a ball? Do we want our kids to think that it’s normal to be incredibly wealthy, have a throng of hangers-on, be treated “special” by the courts and then be finished with your career in your thirties?

Vince Lombardi is known for saying, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing!” Actually, he “borrowed” that phrase from UCLA Bruins football coach Henry Russell (“Red”) Sanders. I guess that alone is enough to prove that some people will beg, borrow, steal, or inject in order to win.

I’d rather my kids see heroes as the people who go to work every day, not for fame and fortune but because it’s the right thing to do. Parents who attend the school concert, the sporting event and who help (to the degree they can) with the school projects. People who give God his due. People who repeatedly fall madly in love with their spouse.

Celebrities live in a different world – make that a different universe – from the rest of us. They have their place. We enjoy them because they make us laugh, they make us cry. They make us cheer. They make us wish they could have heard the advice we shouted to the television before they messed up that last play. (Auugghhhh! Fumble!)

Most of our kids will never live in the celebrities universe, and even if they do, sooner or later (probably sooner) they’ll re-enter the normal universe, and hopefully find themselves willing to go to work every day, be attentive to their kids, know God, and appreciate their spouse.